This Web-based political game, devised by Max Barry to promote his novel, Jennifer Government, is downright addictive. Players build a nation from scratch and select the sort of ideology on which to base the national consciousness. But however much you desire a utopian society, you must deal with a series of issues, and the rule of unintended consequences kicks in. In trying to keep my country’s economy from tanking, I went from a civil-rights-loving republic to what the game calls an “iron-fisted consumerist state” in a matter of days. Then it got worse. Decisions that I thought would expand civil liberties resulted in hungry people and high crime rates. It’s an eye-opener, and the site’s forums allow for even more detailed and interactive role-playing.